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dvon5000
2010-Jul-18, 11:23 PM
So I saw these fantastic images of Lutetia (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/07/lutetia-gallery/), and the accompanying article mentions that the Rosetta spacecraft took these on its way to the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which it will reach in 2014.

It got me thinking, firstly, exactly how many spacecraft do we have flying right now towards distant but marked-on-the-calendar discoveries, and secondly, is there any website or service that tracks their status, current positions, estimated time of arrival, and-- eventually-- returned data?

For one thing, I'm sure it would make quite a nifty infographic to see a map of the solar system marked by the routes of exploratory spacecraft, past and present. And for another-- being a new and still very casual enthusiast-- I would be very interested in getting automatic updates via email or RSS anytime new photos are taken or discoveries made outside the earth (not sure I can count on myself to stay well-informed otherwise!)

I guess the obsessive-compulsive in me also likes the idea of counting down the days to fantastic photographs four years down the road...!

Any advice or thoughts?

Thanks.

baric
2010-Jul-19, 12:42 AM
So I saw these fantastic images of Lutetia (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/07/lutetia-gallery/), and the accompanying article mentions that the Rosetta spacecraft took these on its way to the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which it will reach in 2014.

It got me thinking, firstly, exactly how many spacecraft do we have flying right now towards distant but marked-on-the-calendar discoveries, and secondly, is there any website or service that tracks their status, current positions, estimated time of arrival, and-- eventually-- returned data?

For one thing, I'm sure it would make quite a nifty infographic to see a map of the solar system marked by the routes of exploratory spacecraft, past and present. And for another-- being a new and still very casual enthusiast-- I would be very interested in getting automatic updates via email or RSS anytime new photos are taken or discoveries made outside the earth (not sure I can count on myself to stay well-informed otherwise!)

I guess the obsessive-compulsive in me also likes the idea of counting down the days to fantastic photographs four years down the road...!

Any advice or thoughts?

Thanks.

Wikipedia is an outstanding resource for astronomy enthusiasts!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Solar_System_exploration

slang
2010-Jul-19, 12:44 AM
Just read BAUT. Done. :)

Swift
2010-Jul-19, 01:08 AM
Just read BAUT. Done. :)
This thread in particular (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/98820-Progress-of-all-spacecraft-in-the-Solar-System-in-2010) summarizes what is happening for many spacecraft during 2010.

Arnold Rimmer
2010-Jul-19, 01:11 AM
Emily Lakdawalla over at the planetary society website runs a monthly update of ongoing missions in the solar system. The latest can be found here http://planetary.org/blog/article/00002566/

dvon5000
2010-Jul-19, 03:14 PM
Emily Lakdawalla over at the planetary society website runs a monthly update of ongoing missions in the solar system. The latest can be found here http://planetary.org/blog/article/00002566/

Thanks! Exactly what I was hoping for.